Malcolm MacEth, Earl of Ross (c.1120 - 1168)

Ross, Moray, Scotland

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Place of Burial: Ross, Moray, Scotland
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Scotland
Death: Died in Moray, Ross, Scotland
Occupation: Real or alleged son
Managed by: John Winning, Jr.
Last Updated:

About Malcolm MacEth, Earl of Ross

The Correct History of Clann MacAoidgh (The Clan Mackay)

(by Dr. Gary Mckay)

This is a message posted at the Clan Mackay, USA discussion forum by Dr. Gary McKay on May 09 1999.

Dear All, As I have noted a general fallacy running through many of the supposed "histories" of the Clann MacAoidgh, I shall generate an abbreviated one for all. Please note that I am in the middle of a five year effort at annotating the "Book of Mackay" and currently have access to the papers of Dr. Ian Grimble, Historian of the Strathnaver and il D'uath M'hic Aoidh ("Land of the Mackays"), now deceased sadly. As a blood relative, and I do not refer to political associations or military alliances, the following is historically true and verifiable:

1) Around 710 A.D., three separate tribes leave Ireland from a region known as Dalriada and land in what is now known as Argyll and the southern Hebrides. One of the tribes is known as the C'nel Lorne, the progenitors of Clann MacAoidh. The C'nel Lorne are descended from Aedh, grand-son of the Irish king N'iall.

2) Around the year 1100 A.D., the C'nel Lorne move up the Great Glen (the Loch Ness divide) to the present day region of the Moray after centuries of battle with the C'nel Gabhrain. The Mac Aedh (then Gaelic spelling...) left in Argyll become a later war sept of the Clan Ranald of McDonald, later known as the "Lords of the Isles".

3) The Mac Aedh/Mac Aed/Mac Heths (all variations of the Gaelic pronunciation of the time) become a virtual separate kingdom around the Moray Firth on Scotland's middle north eastern coast, becoming known as the "Mormaers", or Great Rulers (of Men). However, in the 1200's their power was broken after the grandson of MacBeth, by virtue of Lulach (or Gormflaith) his wife, challenged one of the early Scottish kings. The Mormaers were banished over the far northwestern Munros (Mountains) into the region of the Strathnaver.

4) The Strathnaver at the height of the Clann MacAoidgh (modern Gaelic spelling) stretched from Assynt in the west to Loch Naver, to the borders of Ross-shire and just west of present day Thurso. From late 1200s until the middle 1400s, the power of the Aoidgh was unchallenged particularly after the battle of Drum na Cub in the shadow of Ben Loyal, when Iain Abrach Mackay led a party of 500 men into battle againt men of the Sutherland (Clann Suderland). Some 1500 Suderlands were killed, virtually the entire war group. These Suderlands were NOT related to the later infamous Sutherlands of the Clearances of the 1800's.

5) Throughout the 1500s and 1600s the Clann Aoidgh was under constant pressure from the Gordon-Huntly Clann (later assuming the name Sutherland by royal decree) throuch fractricidal policies. The Chiefs of Mackay always backed the Crown and WERE NOT at anytime Jacobites. ONLY those whom remained as septs of the Clan MacDonald were Jacobites. The famous Mackay's Regiment came into being in the middle 1600's, fighting as mercenaries in Holland and Germany for William the Orange. In 1688, the Chief of Mackay through his support behind William fully, thus ending the House of Stewarts reign as Kings of Scotland and England.

6) The Clann Mac Aoidgh declined throughout the 18th and 19th century due to the avarice of the Suitherland's, a failure of land reform policy of the newly united "Kingdom", and the lure of America.

7) In the year 1999 in Sutherland County, which comprises one-quarter of the original "Strathnaver", there are only 2,126 inhabitants. In 1825 at the beginning of the worst years of the "Clearances", there were 26,245 inhabitants. Some 76 percent were blood relation Mackay's and were Gaelic language speakers as their ancestors had been for 2000 years. While "mythical" historians relate a relation to the Clann Mhoirgunn (Morgan), it remains that and nothing more.

While certain portions of the Coat of Arms and later colors may have been adapted, they have nothing to do with the Aoidgh's actual history. Per political and military septs allied to the Clann Mac Aoidgh, they are as numerous throughout history as the colors of the rainbow, from Frasers to Mackenzie, to Grant and Blair. Thus, it is quite okay for one to "ally" himself to any modern "Clan" should they so desire. However, in doing so one is an anachronist (or one who portrays history) and not per se following the "modern" conventions of some form of "blood" relationship. (That is merely a commentary on the situation as I see it here in Scotland!)

Finally, on tartan. Tartan was not specific to Clann but to region--thus, the Gunn colors are similar to Mackay etc. There is a very specific regional sett called "Strathnaver Mackay" which is dyed in the actual known colors of that region (heather brown and grey-blue) in the same pattern. (I have them, much nicer than the "modern" Mackay I think, but only an opinion!) Should you desire to come to Scotland, travel to Edinburgh, thence to Thurso, thence to Bettyhill, where there is the Clan Mackay Museum at the Farr Bay Church in Sutherland County.

To finish, Clann M'hic Aoidgh is one of the most famous and certainly oldest of the true Gaelic Clanns. If you are blood related, then you may count King Niall of Ireland, King David of Scotland, and Macbeth as your relations--not to mention a legion of Barons, Lords, and Knights and can be justifiably proud. I close with the words of the original Clann M'hic Aoidgh motto and inscribed on the tomb of The Scourie-Mackay at Balnakiel Church in Durness, "Bi Tren, Bi Treun!" Be True, Be Steadfast! Cheers, Dr. Gary Mckay Barra Suite Dept. of Archaeology and Geography Univ. of Edinburgh Edinburgh Scotland EH8 9XP Scotland, UK 011 44 131 650 2532

In c. 1130, both Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth) and Earl Angus rebelled against King David I when he imposed new feudal laws upon the Moraymen's pre-existing ancient kingdom. In the rebellion that followed, Earl Angus was defeated and slain but Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth) escaped to the isles where he was protected by Somerled, Lord of the Isles. There, Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth), married Lord Somerled's sister, who gave birth to Donald and Gormiath (Blue eyes) MacHeth (MacEth), c. 1130. While scholars believe that Gormiath MacHeth (MacEth) married Harold Maddadarson, Norse Earl of Orkney and Caithness.

The Mackaymen's rebellion continued without interruption from c. 1130 to c. 1134, until Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth) was captured and imprisioned by King David I, at the Roxburgh Castle. Twenty-two years later, his son, Donald MacHeth (MacEth), was captured in a similar Mackaymen's rebellion hence imprisoned along with his father at the Roxburgh Castle, c. 1156. One year later, Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth) was released from the Roxburgh Castle prison by Malcolm IV and given the title of First Earl of Ross, c. 1157.

This title was later rescinded as punishment due to the Morymen's rebellious disloyalty to King David I. Then, Malcolm IV: (1) banished the ancestors of the Mackay's from their ancestral home, and (2) gave the Mackay's ancient land to Normans and Saxons who were loyal to the Crown. Here, the Mackay's men, women, and children fled north, while others escaped into Argyll, Islay, and Galloway. Note, according to Scots Peerage c. 1910, the first of the MacEths to settle in the Strathnaver region was Iye MacEth, Chamberlain to Walter de Baltrodi, Bishop of Caithness. This Iye (Aodh) Walter de Baltrodi produced a daughter, Conchar.

========

"The Book of McKee," pg 271 - pedigree from William Skene, D.C.L., LL.D., Historiographer-Royal of Scotland, in "Celtic Scotland," Edinburgh 1890; this shows the history of Scotland as being the Irish Kings; also from "The Mackays of Strathnaver," pg 305a;

Malcolm was created Earl of Ross in 1157 by King Malcolm, his mother's brother; then deposed by the inhabitants circa 1160; The Highland Clans (941 D2mo) gives his death date.

"The Book of McKee", pg 265 states: "In 1134..Olave, the Norwegian king of the Isle of Man, granted lands in that island to Yvo, abbot of the monastery at Furness, to found another Cistercian monastery at Russin, and Brother Wymundus was sent with some monks to fill it..[who] so pleased the barbarous natives with the sweetness of his address and openness of his countenance, being also of a tall and athletic make, that they requested him to become their bishop and obtained their desire...A short time later...he announced that he was the son and rightful heir of Angus Mac Eth, earl of Moray, who was wrongfully murdered in 1130 by King David...[Skene in footnote states:] Malcolm Mac Eth was born 'in obscurissimo Angliae loco,'... acted as a scribe to certain monks, connoting above-average education... [was] 'de Schid,' or Skye...[did] his father Angus Mac Eth ... spirit him away as a tender youth to relatives in Skye before his fatal expedition against the Scot king David sometime prior to 1130 A.D."

Parentage information from Blackcastle Manuscript 1832 quoting Vide Collectanea de Robus Albanicis in Iona Club Transactions, V 1, p 341. He is known as "Moddan" in the Norwegian chronicles.

McKee p 24 states "It appears to be historically documented that in 1039, King Duncan gave all Caithness to his nephew Moddan, whose descendant also named Moddan flourished circa 1100, and was referred to at that time as 'Moddan the noble man of Dolum Katanesi.' Katanesi is a variant of Caithness." -------------------- Malcolm MAC ETH Earl of Ross

[2595]

ABT 1120 - 1168

BIRTH: ABT 1120, Scotland [2593]

DEATH: 1168, Moray, Ross, Scotland [2594]

Father: Hugh or Angus (Aodh) Mac Eth

Mother: Sister of King Malcolm IV

Family 1 : Mariotte (Margaret) Sister of Somerled

MARRIAGE: ABT 1142, Scotland

Donald MAC ETH 
Gormlath MAC ETH 

+Ferquhard MAC ETH Earl of Ross

+Hugh (Mackie) MAC ETH -------------------- Earl of Ross

married the sister of Somerled

-----------------------------------

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Malcolm Macbeth (Mackbeth) d. 23 October 1168

Person:141525

Full Tree Descendants (Inventory)


Lineage

Macbeth

Sex

Male

Full name (at birth)

Malcolm Macbeth

Other last names

Mackbeth

Other given names

Milcolm

Parents ♂ Hugh Farquarson (Macbeth, Melbaeda) [Macbeth] b. < 1070? d. 1093

♀ Grouch MacLulach [Loarn]

Events


child birth: ♂ Donald MacHeth [Macbeth]

child birth: ♀ # Gormflaeth MacEth [Macbeth]

1145 child birth: Morven, Argyle, Scotland, ♂ Angus Macrory (MacKay) [MacRoy] b. 1145 d. 1210


1157 ? 1168 title: Earl of Ross


23 October 1168 death:

Notes


In c. 1130, both Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth) and Earl Angus rebelled against King David I when he imposed new feudal laws upon the Moraymen's pre-existing ancient kingdom. In the rebellion that followed, Earl Angus was defeated and slain but Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth) escaped to the isles where he was protected by Somerled, Lord of the Isles. There, Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth), married Lord Somerled's sister, who gave birth to Donald and Gormiath (Blue eyes) MacHeth (MacEth), c. 1130. While scholars believe that Gormiath MacHeth (MacEth) married Harold Maddadarson, Norse Earl of Orkney and Caithness.


The Mackaymen's rebellion continued without interruption from c. 1130 to c. 1134, until Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth) was captured and imprisioned by King David I, at the Roxburgh Castle. Twenty-two years later, his son, Donald MacHeth (MacEth), was captured in a similar Mackaymen's rebellion hence imprisoned along with his father at the Roxburgh Castle, c. 1156. One year later, Malcolm MacHeth (MacEth) was released from the Roxburgh Castle prison by Malcolm IV and given the title of First Earl of Ross, c. 1157.


This title was later rescinded as punishment due to the Morymen's rebellious disloyalty to King David I. Then, Malcolm IV: (1) banished the ancestors of the Mackay's from their ancestral home, and (2) gave the Mackay's ancient land to Normans and Saxons who were loyal to the Crown. Here, the Mackay's men, women, and children fled north, while others escaped into Argyll, Islay, and Galloway. Note, according to Scots Peerage c. 1910, the first of the MacEths to settle in the Strathnaver region was Iye MacEth, Chamberlain to Walter de Baltrodi, Bishop of Caithness. This Iye (Aodh) Walter de Baltrodi produced a daughter, Conchar.


From grandparents to grandchildren


Grandparents

♂ Lulach MacGilllecomgain birth: 1032 title: King of Scotland death: 17 March 1057, Essie, Strathbogie, Scotland

♂ Farquar MacBeaton birth: < 1057?

♀ Finnghuala de Aeongus

Grandparents

Parents

♂ Hugh Farquarson (Macbeth, Melbaeda) birth: < 1070? marriage: title: Thane of Cromarty death: 1093

♀ Grouch MacLulach

Parents


3

♂ Angus MacHeth

♀ Gruoch MacAedh (MacHugh, Mackay) marriage: ♂ William FitzDuncan (Uilleam macDonnchada)

♀ Gillebridesdotter

♂ # Malcolm Macbeth (Mackbeth) title: 1157 ? 1168, Earl of Ross death: 23 October 1168

3

Children

♂ # Harald Maddadsson (Maddadsson) birth: 1130 marriage: ♀ # Aufrica MacSomerled death: 1206

♀ # Gormflaeth MacEth marriage: ♂ # Harald Maddadsson (Maddadsson)

♂ Angus Macrory (MacKay) birth: 1145, Morven, Argyle, Scotland death: 1210, Bute, Strathclyde, Scotland

♂ Donald MacHeth

Children

Grandchildren

♂ Seamus (James) Macrory birth: 1190, Bute, Scotland death: 1210, Bute, Men Skye, Strathclyde, Scotland

♂ Kenneth MacEth death: 1215

♂ Thorfinn Haraldsson (Maddadsson, Macmaddad)

♂ David Haroldsson (Maddadsson, Macmaddad)

♂ John Haraldsson (maddadsson, macmaddad)

♀ Gunnhild Haraldsdotter (Macmaddad)

♀ Herberg Haraldsdotter (Macmaddad)

♂ Henrik Haraldsson (Madisson, Maddadson)

♂ Haakon Haraldsson (Maddansson)

♀ Helena Haroldsdotter

♀ Margaret Haroldsdotter

Ψ Langleiv ? (Langley)

Grandchildren

Aeongus

Delisle

Loarn

MacRoy

Macbeth

Madison

view all 13

Malcolm MacEth, Earl of Ross's Timeline

1120
1120
Scotland
1140
1140
Age 20
1142
1142
Age 22
United Kingdom
1150
1150
Age 30
of Caithness, Scotland
1155
1155
Age 35
of Ross, Scotland
1157
1157
Age 37
Moray, Scotland
1157
Age 37
Scotland
1165
1165
Age 45
of Galloway, Scotland
1168
1168
Age 48
Moray, Ross, Scotland
1168
Age 48
Ross, Moray, Scotland